Wednesday, October 26, 2016

House Renovation: Basement Organizing

Organizing feels so good.

I made my oldest help me clean out his dresser. After about 30 min of hard work, it looked amazing. I asked him how he felt now, getting clothes from his dresser.

"It feels good," he smiled.

Yeah it does.

I do love to organize. And I know the secret to organizing is having a place for things and a system for daily life.

But I've made plenty of false starts over the years at organizing the boys' homework room, the front hall closet, and my office. So when it came time to tackle our kitchen renovation, we actually hired a designer who has really helped me learn more about how to think about not just organizing but also designing.

I've also been obsessively watching HGTV and trying to learn from the experiences of others. And it doesn't hurt that a Container Store just opened in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. (My oldest can't wait to stop by and get drawer dividers. Yep.)

In addition to organizing, I also love to workout. And right now we have a treadmill, a sweet new stationery bike, a Bosu ball and two stability balls, a great set of weights and a weight bench. And we use these items.

Unfortunately they are kind of crammed into the smaller room at the bottom of our basement stairs and right at the door that comes into the house from the garage. I'd really like to clear out our incredibly large storage room and move our workout gear back there. I think there's a lot of potential back there for a really nice workout space.

I also want to clear out the basement storage room because I have a serious aversion to becoming a hoarder. I want to honestly assess what we use and don't use, what we need and don't need, and jettison the things we can let go of. That way it's easier for us to access and use the things that are really key for us.

Here's where we are now in the storage room:


A lot of the material in the middle of the storage room floor will come upstairs once we get the boys' main homework room organized. And I really believe if we get the workout gear into the storage room, we can create another kids' hangout area (maybe?) slash mudroom in the smaller basement room. They have a lot of outdoor toys that we can keep down there.


We're clearing out old computer equipment, moving kitchen supplies upstairs, donating old household appliances. I envision a nice padded floor in the storage area so any dropped weights don't crack anything. Space for my yoga mat. And room to actually use our bench and bar.

How much can I bench!?! Spot me, sister!

I also want to replace the door in the back of the room with something we can easily open when we want fresh air to cool the workout space.


This big stack of photo albums in four separate crates is going to be pared down to 2 efficient photo storage boxes!! I'm even getting rid of books. Can you believe it? It's painful, but I can do it.


And here's where we are in the current exercise room. It's crowded, but that hasn't stopped us from using it several times a week.




So this is the project we're tackling now while a few other upstairs projects are continuing. Stay tuned as we transform these two rooms from decent useable spaces to really cool usable spaces.